Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Great Spider Incident of 2011

Xander has a spider that his Grandpa (aka my Dad) gave him. It's a bit, hairy tarantula, to be exact. And the thing is dead and encased in a plastic bubble. It's going nowhere. Xander adores this thing and calls it Fred. (No, I am not joking.)

While I am not particularly enamoured with Fred, I also have no fear of him either.

My Mom (aka Nanny), on the other hand, is petrified of spiders. Why my Dad gave this doubious gift to my 5 year old, I will never understand.

Fred came to live with us in November and we hid him under a tissue while Nanny was here visiting. I thought that perhaps with Nanny arriving again tonight, we ought to put Fred away and insisted that he go into Xander's sock and underwear drawer.

This should be the end of the story, but my young son is one who stews and frets. So we put the boys to bed last night and Liam was out in about 30 seconds. Xander, on the other hand, came downstairs for snacks (got nothing, as he ate plenty at dinner) and to talk. Once he'd been run back to bed for the third time, he was heard singing and complaining loudly from his bed.

Ray went up to coax him into going to sleep. I hear words like, "Well, being quiet is the first step to going to sleep." were part of that conversation. Eventually Ray gave up and told me that there was something weird going on with Xander, who claimed he couldn't sleep.

I finished what I was doing, and then went upstairs to find that Xander had shoved all of his blankets and his pillow to the bottom of the bed and was lying on his sheet looking at the ceiling miserably. I did what I knew was the right thing: I climbed in.

Climbing into Xander's bed is no easy feat. He has a loft bed from Ikea. Getting in is not horrid, but getting out is a gymnastic accomplishment when you are in your 30s and the ceiling is sloped.

Xander was ticked off. He rolled as far away from me as possible and refused to share the pillow and blanket. I snuggled in and spoke to him a bit at a time.
What was wrong? Nothing. Was he upset? No.
I was quiet a moment.
Then we talked about the day. He liked playing with Play Doh today. The movie yesterday was good. And I asked him if he was really hungry and he started to get silly and tell me about making giant mounds of sushi (kid does love his sushi!).
After the giggles, we talked about how sometimes trying to sleep and not being able to sleep makes a person anxious about sleeping, which also makes it hard to sleep. Vicious circle.
And I prodded to see what was making him upset: was it school? Nope. Nanny and Grandpa's visit?


Sobbing ensued. He was very happy for Nanny and Grandpa to come, but why oh WHY did Fred have to go away? He missed Fred. Fred was a friend. Please bring Fred back.

For the record, Fred spent the night IN Xander's bed. (Which made my Mom shudder when I told her the story.) And he will be on Xander's bookcase for the duration of the visit. His reasoning was that there was no way Nanny could get in there to see Fred. It's hard to argue, since the space is so tight between the end of his bed and the bookcase that I can't get in there either.

Most of the time we stand firm, but when something causes this much anxiety, it is sometimes better to negotiate and have peace and sleep.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blogging, Coaching and Friends

My friend Trina is an archer. She lives and breathes archery, and has become incredibly involved in both the sport and coaching her sport over the past number of years. I keep teasing her that I don't understand how she can keep up with all of it and work a full-time job and raise a child. She really is a phenomenal person.

But she works hard for it all.

This year, she is involved in the Canada Games, but has put a little spin on it. She's blogging about the experience for the Coaching Association of Canada.

So, if you have a few minutes, check her out and lend your support.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Fat Conspiracy

I've been thinking about fat lately. More like thinking about being fat. Pregnancy, small children, lack of energy, and a few running injuries have sidelined my usual healthy lifestyle. Not that I can remember ever being skinny, mind you, but lately I have been much heavier than I usually am and way over my own comfort zone.

I've done things about it. I joined Weight Watchers just before Christmas (and yes, I said before) and have been trying to go to the gym. I'm getting better. For me. It's a bit at a time, but that is perfect. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my jeans size.

As a little aside, I do love the new Weight Watchers program. It's brought me so soundly back in line with eating habits that I love and do my body good! I feel great. I am not hungry (who can be with all of that food!) and I am losing weight. It's all good.

However, one thing that makes me think is the meetings. I go for the accountability, truth be told, rather than for the tips or the inspiration. I find that a lot of the time, the focus of the meetings (or is it the group itself?) is on how you can find snacks for only a few points.

It's not a focus on healthy eating.

The last few programs made it so that I could eat a load of junk, if I desired, and stay on program. This one rewards healthy living. And still, we are talking about 2 or 3 point snacks. Why? Why? If I eat like that, I can't manage to eat enough points. If I don't eat enough, I don't lose weight.

I've been pondering this a lot lately. And I think it has to do with fat. Or being fat. And our cultural understandings or misunderstandings about being fat. The big assumption is that fat = overeating, eating the wrong stuff, and just being lazy. So, encouraging weight loss means encouraging eating small amounts and being rigourous about diet and exercise in general.

No where in there do we talk about enjoying your life. Enjoying the food you eat and the exercise you do.

Revolutionary idea, isn't it? Enjoying it.

When I think about the times I am not exercising and I am not eating well, by and large, I am not really enjoying myself. I might be going with the flow. I am often overburdened with work and childcare and life in general when it happens. I am definitely not enjoying myself. Often I feel awful from my poorer food choices.

Somehow, I cannot get it out of my mind that we are approaching weight loss all wrong. That our perceptions of what makes us fat and what keeps us fat are all wrong. And that we are collectively doing damage to ourselves and even our culture over this. We've developed a deep-seated conspiracy amongst ourselves over fat: being fat, gaining fat, and losing fat. And it is a mighty slippery slope.